Regional development in Sri Lanka
This project, which started in 1999, is funded by SIDA / SAREC (www.sida.se). It is a collaboration between the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, University of Gothenburg and Lund University, Sweden. A total of about 15 people are participating, of which three are doctoral students, two are technicians and the rest are senior researchers. Participants are mainly economists and geographers.
The aim is to study the social changes taking place in Sri Lanka, particularly with regard to poverty and education, and to increase the capacity on the use of GIS at the Kelaniya University. The project is interdisciplinary, and both quantitative and qualitative analysis are used and combined.
Two districts have been selected to carry out a comparative study: a relatively poor and inaccessible district in the south east (Hambantota), and a richer district near the capital (Gampaha). Large amounts of data regarding -among other topics- income, expenses, electricity, education and quality of life, have been collected and analyzed. We have linked this to availability and other factors has been made. Also land use has been mapped and analyzed using satellite data, and GIS has been used consistently as a tool in the project.
In order to increase the GIS use, staff has been trained and GIS laboratories has been built up. The Departments of Economy and Geography at the University of Kelaniya has today GIS capacity for teaching and research.